It’s draft weekend, friends! The 2021 NHL Draft is finally upon us, with the first round running Friday night starting at 6 p.m. MT! The Calgary Flames draft 13th overall in the first round and are poised to get a pretty good young hockey player.
Here’s a breakdown of who the Flames might select on Friday night.

Prospective picks at a glance

Player
2020-21 Primary Team
Shot
CSS Ranking
Brooks (AJHL)
R
14th North American skater
SKA-1946 St. Petersburg (VHL)
L
4th European skater
HC Nove Zamsky (Slovakia)
R
7th North American skater
Chicago (USHL)
R
9th North American skater
Edmonton (WHL)
n/a
1st North American goalie
Vasteras IK (Allsvenskan)
L
2nd European skater
Djurgardens IF (SHL)
L
1st European skater
Edmonton (WHL)
R
5th North American skater
University of Michigan (NCAA)
L
3rd North American skater
US Nat. Development (USHL)
R
12th North American skater
Lulea HF (SHL)
R
9th European skater
EHC Olten (Swiss League)
L
2nd North American skater
HV71 (SHL)
L
13th European skater
EHC Olten (Swiss League)
L
8th North American skater
HDD Jesenice (AlpsHL)
L
15th North American skater
Karpat (Liiga)
L
3rd European skater
Skelleftea AIK (SHL)
L
11th European skater
Sioux Falls (USHL)
L
10th North American skater
Kamloops (WHL)
R
31st North American skater
Lada Togliatti (VHL)
L
6th European skater
Lulea HF (SHL)
n/a
1st European goalie

Handicapping the contenders

The Flames select 13th overall. (But since Arizona won’t select at 11th overall due to forfeiting the pick, they’re nominally the 12th team to select in the draft.)
Based on a collection of 11 prominent rankings – Elite Prospects, FC Hockey, Sportsnet, HockeyProspect, TSN (Bob McKenzie and Craig Button), The Athletic (Corey Pronman and Scott Wheeler), Dobber Prospects, The Hockey News and McKeen’s – nine players were ranked top 11 on eight of the lists or more: Owen Power, Matthew Beniers, William Eklund, Brandt Clarke, Dylan Guenther, Luke Hughes, Mason McTavish, Kent Johnson and Simon Edvinsson. The Flames likely won’t be able to select any of these players. Another player, Jesper Wallstedt, was ranked top 11 in seven of the surveyed rankings so he’s probably out, too.
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That effectively knocks 10 players off the draft board. Here’s my personal preference ranking of the remaining high-end available prospects based on the Flames’ needs:
  • C Chaz Lucius
  • C Cole Sillinger
  • LW Matthew Coronato
  • C Fyodor Svechkov
  • D Carson Lambos
  • LW Brennan Othmann
  • LW Nikita Chibrikov
  • RW Fabian Lysell
  • LW Oskar Olausson
  • C Aatu Raty
The Flames need offense. The good news is that, unless the consensus rankings are way, way off, one (or both) of Lucius and Sillinger are likely going to be on the board at 13th overall. Even if the draft boards are a bit wacky, though, it’s likely that the Flames will also have Coronato and Svechkov to choose from, so if you’re thinking that the Flames need to get a goal-scorer… well, there are going to be a few players that meet their needs available when they select.
(Based on the Flames’ somewhat spotty history drafting goaltenders early, don’t expect them to opt for Jesper Wallstedt – if he falls to them – or Sebastian Cossa at 13th overall.)
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Since Brad Treliving came to town, the Flames have selected five times in the first round. Those five selections were from: the OHL (Sam Bennett), the OHL (Matthew Tkachuk), the WHL (Juuso Valimaki), the QMJHL (Jakob Pelletier) and the WHL (Connor Zary). They haven’t necessarily avoided taking players from the United States or Europe, but they’ve really tended to skew towards Canadian junior stars. All things being equal, there’s probably some manner of comfort there that they keep steering back towards.
We’ll see if that trend continues this year.
Of the likely available players, who do you want the Flames to select? Sound off in the comments!